Monday, March 30, 2009

Sustainable Lifestyles (Climate Change)

Global Survey

This survey is a bit long, but the questions raised and the solutions proposed are quite interesting. The main benefit I think is the mere fact that the questions alone "forces" us to think about certain issues to tend to forget in our daily lives.

And in case you don't have the time to follow through with the Survey, here's the main information to remember:

Climate change is happening now, it is among the biggest threats to humanity. What does it mean?

Every day many of our activities consume a lot of energy and emit greenhouse gases (GHG) in the air. These gases act like a thick blanket over our planet and heat the Earth, which leads to species and people threatened by drought, changes in rainfall, altered seasons, and more violent storms and floods.

Because of Climate Change…

The 3 billion people who live in poverty around the world will be the hardest hit by climate change, with a risk of starvation due to declining crop, prolonged drought and high temperatures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that climate change may have caused more than 150,000 deaths in the year 2000 alone.

More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050. In the Galápagos Islands, penguin populations have halved since the early 1970s because of extreme weather conditions.

Climate change is related to the way we live, the way we move around, what and how we consume. Daily life habits, such as heating, cooling or lighting our homes absorbs a lot of energy and also emits huge amounts of GHG. For example, clothes dryers account for up to 10% of home-energy use. Transporting goods around the world, accounts for 50% of the diesel fuel consumed in cities. Even what we eat is important: producing a kilo of veal emits the same amounts of GHG than driving a car for 220km!

Here are some solutions!

Being at home:

• Use energy more efficiently at home to reduce your emissions: turn off electric devices and lights when not using them, sort wastes, choose low-energy bulbs, etc.

Getting around:

• Rather than driving your car every day, try other ways: walk, ride your bike, and take the bus or the train.

• Use car renting and car sharing systems that reduce GHG emissions.

Getting food and eating:

• Buy in priority seasonal/organic products that need less energy to be produced or grown.

• Develop collective urban gardens to grow vegetables locally.

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